Friday, November 19, 2010

Me, Abe & Road Warriors

A couple of years ago, while visiting my Uncle Gale and Aunt Janie in Rapid City South Dakota (that's a picture of their flag), I happened to look at the calendar they had hanging in the kitchen. It had all kinds of patriotic info added to each page. Flipping through the months I discovered something that would later play a big role in the birth of Road Warriors 2010.

My uncle had taped a copy of the Gettysburg Address to the calendar. He was memorizing it. He was 82 years old and memorizing the Gettysburg Address. I read it, line by line, and started crying. Mr. Lincoln clearly understood the cost of war, the value of life and refused to let the loss of life in defense of the union go unheralded. Reading through this short, but oh so famous address, I realized it expressed exactly the way I felt about our country, our soldiers, our freedom and our duty as citizens. For we are now engaged in a different great war testing our commitment and resolve to continue our founding fathers passion for liberty and freedom.

When I got back to California, I printed out a copy of the speech and started on the memorizing journey. I carried it with me in the car. Took it to the gym. Taped it on my bathroom mirror. I read and repeated. Read and repeated. The word "dedicated" occurred again and again in the speech. I think this word must have really taken hold in my soul because not long after my task to memorize the speech, I began to feel "compelled" to do something for our century's brave men, living and dead who have laid their lives on the line in our defense so that our great nation may not perish from the earth. The something turned out to be Road Warriors 2010.

Here it is for you to read, perhaps the greatest speech ever written, by the greatest President we have ever had. It was delivered on November 19th, 1863. My birthday is today, November 19th.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Thank you to all my Road Warriors. You have changed my life and encouraged my heart in so many ways. I hope you have felt the same. My passion for our soldiers and their families will take a new path next year and then maybe...hopefully...we'll meet again for Road Warriors 2012.

God bless you all,

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